Central Park

December 15, 2011

There was another thing I meant to write about today.

I walked through Central Park yesterday for the first time in a while, and I was struck by the same sensation that I always get when I take that first step in, whether it’s in the middle of a fetid New York summer or a glistening cold snap. It’s the only part of New York City that breathes. You feel it on your skin, it touches your face. It’s a certain kind of moisture in the air, a softness that even that little bit of fake nature provides. The rest of the city, the concrete streets and buses and cars and subway grates and sturdy and glassy buildings and people and stores and restaurants, we all just exhale. Everything carries a smell that’s slightly stale, a little bit already used, a kind of tired viscosity. In Central Park, even with that first step in, your lungs, and your eyelids and that space and the top of your nostrils remember that there does exist a wisp of something fresh somewhere in the middle, between the burdened rivers and all of the busy chaos.

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